On September 28, 1987 an official was informed that Kim Jong Il was heading for the Hwangju Stream in his county after a field guidance trip.
He made necessary preparations in a hurry and went out.
As he was waiting on the path to the stream, a car approached towards him and the General got off with a genial smile.
With arms akimbo he surveyed the stream flowing down between the green mountains.
He said, “The Hwangju Stream is always limpid.”
The official was smiling as he was looking forward to the day when the General could take a good rest after the fatigue of his ceaseless field guidance trips.
He showed him some nets and other fishing tackle.
The General said jokingly, “As there is fishing tackle in plenty, there will not be enough fishes.”
Then he asked the official if there were still plentiful carps in the stream.
The official said thoughtlessly, “Yes, sir.”
With a slow nod of his head the General resumed: Frankly speaking, a large carp farm was newly built in Pyongyang. I was told that the farm lacks good species of mother fish, so I came to obtain them here.
The official now realized that he came a long way to obtain fish for the carp farm.
He pleaded with him to have a good rest, adding that he would have them caught and sent to Pyongyang.
The General noted that there was no need to trouble the local residents and, pointing at his entourage, said that they should do it as it would benefit people.
Then he taught them how to catch fish without getting it hurt and said that he would inspect their work.
The officials picked up scoop nets and other tools and dispersed in pairs.
The county official implored the General to have a rest holding the fishing rod.
The latter said that he did not need to catch fish because inspection was his job. He told the official that they met after a long separation and should have a talk.
He strolled along the shore, inquiring about the county’s work and giving important instructions.
Hours passed, and other officials gathered, each carrying a bundle of fish.
He asked the one with the smallest bundle where he had netted.
The latter replied that he had netted in the lower reaches of the stream where the current was swift but it was quite deep and clear.
The General said: Seeing your small catch, I guessed so. Carps live near to the bottom, so you must pitch the net deep into the water to make a good catch. They prefer slow current and muddy water at the bottom.
The officials collected the fish in a puddle.
With a satisfied look the General instructed some of them to sort out carps without getting them hurt.
Some officials stepped into the puddle but were at a loss what to do.
The General laughed merrily, saying that they could not distinguish carp from goldfish and teaching them how to do it.
When they finished sorting out the fish, the county official told him that he would parcel up good fish species for him.
But the latter declined this offer and said, “Thank you for your favour. But I have a different idea.”
He went on: The fish over there should be sent to the dormitory in the county. At the dormitory they may not feel full all the time, and they will like fish soup. All these here should be sent to the workers who are performing feats of labour at the construction site of Kwangbok Street. They are taking much trouble.
He stressed, “Then our visit here will be more worthwhile.”